Google urges Glass Explorers to refrain from being ‘Glassholes’

19 Feb 2014

Google Glass in shale with classic shades

Google has issued a list of dos and don’ts for its Google Glass Explorers – those who have been issued with the smart glasses technology on a pilot basis before its general release.

The Glass Explorer programme was first opened up to developers at Google I/O 2012 and then in February last year to people who had a convincing argument for what they would do if they had a pair. The programme has continued expanding since to reach more and more willing early adopters of wearable technology.

Those that have been wearing Google’s smart glasses for the past year or so are essential brand ambassadors for Glass – and it would be a marketing disaster if they developed a bad reputation.

The term ‘Glasshole’ quickly started doing the rounds as Glass wearers were spotted in the wild, and Google has even adopted the term itself in a list of tips for users, published on the Glass press site.

Reputation management

Compiled with the help of current Explorers, the dos and don’ts largely feature fairly obvious guidance, such as encouraging users to make use of Glass in their everyday lives, particularly the hands-free voice commands.

To help stop Glass from getting a reputation as a strange spy gadget to be wary of, users are advised to ask for permission when taking photos or videos of others and not to ‘Glass-out’ and use the device to zone out of reality and catch up on War and Peace.

Glass Explorers are also warned to expect that they will attract attention when wearing the device and Google seems to be pleading with its users to be respectful, answer queries and offer demos of the device to curious questioners. Unfortunately, though, Glass Explorers are not sales assistants in Google’s employ and whether they heed this advice or not is up to them.

“Breaking the rules or being rude will not get businesses excited about Glass and will ruin it for other Explorers,” the post reads – but, really, Google’s greatest concern is that a few Glassholes could ruin its wearable tech venture.

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.